CHILDREN under 10 years old are being prescribed antidepressants, with the drugs linked to at least two suicides and another death from heart failure.
But warnings of dangerous side effects are brushed aside, according today to News Ltd newspapers.
The antidepressants, known as selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have never been approved for treating depression in anyone under 19-years-old.
But the newspapers report that 220,000 prescriptions have been issued for their use by under 19s, with about 15,000 involving children under 10-years-old, with alarming effects.
Documents from the Therapeutic Drug Administration (TGA) reveal there were 827 adverse reaction reports, involving 380 separate cases, for antidepressant use amongst children who are less than ten-years-old, the papers reported.
These included cases of convulsion, self-harm, muscle spasms, tremors, hallucinations, deafness, paralysis and Tourette syndrome.
Another 833 adverse health responses, involving 385 separate cases, were linked to use by children aged between 10 and 19, including the three deaths, the papers sai